Friday, April 14, 2006

Lyn the Reader, and Lyn the Reader's General Coolness

You see this post? This here post is about Lyn The Reader. Lyn The Reader has just made a kind donation to the upkeep of this blog, for which I am most grateful. May I fluff your pillow, Lyn the Reader? I'm already whipping up a mimosa for Sarah The Reader. It's no trouble, really.

now I need the snot rag again at:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Snot Rag Special

It has occurred to me that if tomorrow I disappear into Aruba, or officially start garrotting students who what to know if this is going to be on the exam, or appear on a reality show, or something equally horrific, the media will Google me and find me here. This would be its first source of information about me. Other Internet detrius would yield a solemn sense of priority about horses and Cheez-Its and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but the initial hit would lead them here.

Comforting. The stories would be like, "Ellis, 29, hosted a bizarre vendetta against figure skater Sasha Cohen and the USA Rice Federation, but found comfort in eating entire pizzas all by her gluttonous self."

But the reporters would also uncover you. Aren't you proud.

I experienced in recent days a rush of awe for you. Through my page count program, I know there are more of you out there than who email and comment, and though you are silent, you also rock, unless you too are a writing teacher and daily throw this site against a wall and go, "All right class, here's how we don't do it." In which case you are cordially invited to eat me. ("Ellis also encouraged fellow teachers to, quote, 'eat' her.")

I have wanted to be a humor columnist since I was fourteen, and never even envisioned that this might be the avenue. Some of you have been with me since the days as a columnist at The Womb, or even high school; some just landed here. No matter how long you have been visiting, you overwhelm me. In the past forty-eight hours, so many of you have gone to comment at my BustedHalo posts that the administrator actually inquired if I'd sent a bunch of friends over to participate. I guess I did.

Now some of you have even taken the time to design an icon for me, which is again a shock to a person perenially picked last for the kickball team in grade school. I think I'd rather have you, largely because sometimes you send me money.

This post isn't particularly well-written, or funny, and it's a whole mess of telling and not showing, so I'll shut up now. I wish I could do better for you.

Anyway, thanks. Champagne all around.

sniffle at:

Sarah The Reader Is Just So Awesome

She shared her tax return with me! Thank you, Sarah! Your extreme rockage will be heard throughout the ages. Long may her awesomeness reign.

at last the tax code works for me at:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Okay, I need help, and in more than the usual ways.

Some jump-and-and-down-yay-type things will (hopefully) Be Happening with my career in the fall. To prepare for this, I would like to have an icon for the site. Because only big-girl writers have icons. Yea, long have I dreamed of an icon. Then you know you've made it.

However, I suck at this type of thing, and mightily. PhotoShop for me involves, "Okay, let's cut the drunk guy over here out of the picture, and this freak here-- oh wait, that's me." I need a thingie (I believe that is the technical term) to put at the top of the page, as well as on some tshirts and the like. I'm also searching for a catchphrase to go with. (Right now, all I have is "I Mock Because I Love", which... please don't make me use "I Mock Because I Love".)

It's a great resume builder for a young designer out there looking for experience, so please pass the word to classmates, relatives, colleagues, and an average first-grader, any of whom issued from the womb clicking a mouse and has got to be better at design than I am.

I can't pay anything, but I can promise some free merchandise (oh, you fortunate fool), a bubbling reference, and extra-special consideration when it comes to designing a book cover for a collection of "best-of" posts, for which I hope to pay at least a little (and no, that's not even the SuperSecretDouble Probation Project. That's even non-lamer.)

My main requirements are the name of the site and a fairly non-crappy reflection of it. Please do not let the fact that the site itself is crappy stop you.

As for style, I am looking for... not cheesy. Please, just don't send me something that blows chunks. I once saw a portfolio presentation from a graphics arts professor and it sucked all the life right out of the universe. He had, like, all these matted images with glowing, cursive fonts and it looked like it came from somebody's Justin Timberlake fanpage.

I prefer to keep it simple, which is tough to communicate with a humor site. People hear "humor site" and they tend to be all, "To the Comic Sans font!" Uh, no. Something professional, but distinctive, easily transferable to merchandise. For instance, one of my friends suggested the typeset of "Blonde Champagne" with a 60's-style blonde hair thingie framing the "O". You know, like the "O" is a face? Only, no face in the "O". I don't know, she's on drugs.

I think this site has a pretty cool logo. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. Bottom line, I just want to avoid digital poopage like this.

Colors: No palette explosions, please. I would prefer to stay mainly with the black and white "typeset" of the site, which I chose because it seemed very... typewriterly and writer-ish. Maybe with the only color a blonde hair type of thing to make it pop.

(twirls two English degrees over her head)

Email submissions to me ASAP. Maybe if everyone behaves, we'll have a vote.

Edited after Lisa The Reader was like, "Um, what do you want? Besides something that doesn't suck?" which helped me focus. Thanks, Lisa!

eighteen days to the unveiling of the SuperSecretDouble Probation Project at:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

If You're In Town

Stetson University in DeLand, Florida (I would mock it, but its mascot is a hat, and... it's just too easy) has invited me as a featured reader in its "Poetry At An Uncouth Hour" series. Location is Nightlights (i.e. Second Floor of the Bookstore We Don't Know What Else To Do With.) Festivites are on Thursday, April 20th, at 9 PM. Josh The Pilot will be there, and Friendboy Andy, and some of my students, and hopefully some of you, and in general so many colliding worlds that I hope the universe can withstand it.

make sure to wear a black beret and show approval via snapping at

Jump On It has taken me on as a blogger for the next month and a half. I've been affiliated with BustedHalo since, oh, before you were born. It was one of the first websites I ever wrote for, and when I was brought on board during its inception in 2001, I was so very, very new and stupid that when I was accepted to the staff as a freelance writer, I sincerely wanted to know where the health insurance was. Oh... really? Oh.

So I owe them for showing me the rope burns of freelancing. BustedHalo (I've been with them so long I was asked to vote on the name, and... let us just say that I am not to be held responsible for what resulted) is run by the Paulists as a spirituality site for young adults, albeit from a Catholic perspective. I used to write for BH very regularly, and about a year and a half ago, a new editor took over and decided that what the site needed was competent people, who did research, and used facts, which meant of course that I didn't fit in at all.

The site has since drifted farther and farther to the left, and the last time I wrote for it was a year ago when B16 was elected. At the time, I found several opinion pieces discussing how horrid it was that this... this... old conservative white man had been elevated to the Papacy, and I asked the editor if he planned to run a positive article on the poor guy. Pause. Then: "Well, we asked a lot of people, and nobody wanted to write it." Which gives you a pretty good idea of the current consistency of the BustedHalo stable. (To BH's "something for everybody" credit, I was immediately asked to provide some semblance of balance, and you can find a early version of what ultimately ran here.)

And I am completely cool with that, because whenever they need a conservative, they trot me out. They bust open their cell phones and they go to the "Pointy White Hood-Wearing BushHitler Voters" folder in the address book, where I am the only entry. Official Token is an especially useful occupation at this point in my life, because The Univeristy of Airplanes doesn't have any classes for me in the first part of the summer, which I was excited about for the 1.7 seconds it took me to realize that this also means six weeks without income. So every little bit helps (points hopefully at Amazon box at the top of the page.)

I remain quite fond of BustedHalo, and hope you tune in. The blog will run in a debate format from now through June. Another blogger and I will trade posts every other day. I'm "glitterwriter." Shut up. Otherwise, if you'd like to comment, head here. I began with a post on Weir The Ridiculous.

It's only been thirty-six hours, and in the post comments I already have been accused of hatred, non-Christian love, homophobia, and violating small goats. Come on, join the fun!

all in a day's work at:

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ten Things I Learned From The Ten Commandments

Because when the entertainment world needs a new idea, it looks around for the most un-remakable movie possible and decideds to have a shot at it, ABC has pooped forth The Ten Commandments. I watched perhaps four seconds of it, and can definitively say that it sucks. Nobody dances about with enormous orange pom poms attached to their heads, Ramses II wears unadvisable eyeliner when everybody knows that he spent his weekends as the King of Siam anyway, and Moses has Jesus hair (one Bible headliner at a time, please.) Also, he is played by a person named "Dougray." Dougray.

Also also, when the people say "Moses," they only say it once, and there's no fun in that at all. You gotta sell it. He's a stubborn, splendid, adorable fool! Moses, MOOOOOSES!

I always feel sad at the end of the moive, because Moses has grown a long curly beard of what appears to be rolls of that cotton crap the department stores pile at the base of Christmas tree displays (although, as Mike The Longterm Reader has pointed out, thanks to this movie, if we actually meet Moses in the afterlife, we will probably be disappointed.) I hate to leave this world that I have inhabited for four hours of my life, this world in which it is very important for goatherders to have eyes as sharp as they are beautiful.

Let's review:

-Every day should be a shearing festival!

-It is very hard work to raise a stone obelisk, so make sure to have a silk cloth nearby to towel off the sweat you'll work up gazing out of a pair of binoculars as you watch your thousands of slaves do it.

-You know what's really good to wear in 104-degree heat? Gold lamé.

-Apparently, once you've see God, He makes sure that your hair has really good volume.

-Your tongue will dig your grave! So. Make sure you... watch out for that.

-God really has very nice handwriting.

-Oh, just dance before the sheiks already.

-You should treat your children well, 'cause you never know when one of them will stop a big giant stone from squishing you.

-It was very clever of the Lord to part the Red Sea by reversing the film.

-All acts, including frappuccino ordering, should include the prounouncement "So let it be written. So let it be done."

but I am Egypt at:

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Last night, it was a mini Milky Way bar.

I'm doing my best to curb even my cheese-based diet, as I've been cardio exercise-free for the past two weeks due to catastrophic trauma to the left pinkie toe. What happened was, I was sprinting around my apartment for absolutely no reason (this is why I live alone), and slammed my foot directly into one of the five-pound hand weights I swing around in an attempt to convince myself that I am in the process of seriously bulking up. Therefore, I am classifying this as an athletic injury, and passing off the limp to my students with the usual excuse ("Bar fight.")

It is difficult, however, with my new Lenten loophole, which issues directly from Satan.

A fine line, my friends, a fine line. I've given up sweets for Lent, and to me "sweets" include chocolate, caramel, ice cream, cake, doughnuts--all lovely, necessary components of life. And when these things are removed, I have found, the barest sources of sugar take on the radience of the very sun. I had an A&W root beer with ice after dinner last weekend and it was like sipping God.

I never thought to include fruit-based products in the Lenten ban, because... come on. It's fruit.

Then Josh The Pilot decided that he wanted a thing called a "frappuccino," and I mocked him, because first of all, three dollars and fifty cents for a cup of coffee, and second of all, I refuse to present myself to another member of the human race and pronounce myself as desirous of such a thing as a "frappuccino."

Josh The Pilot ordered the "Strawberry Creme" version, and wow, did that sound delish. Because the only thing the delicate taste of third-world black tar is missing is Essence of Bubble Yum.

But the barrista (I... leave this one open to you guys) called Josh forward and handed him a small cup, and told him to hold on a moment, because since somebody stole his original frappuccino, he would get another one at no cost. Josh got the large one (the "Veni Vidi Vici") and I got the small one (the "We've Run Out of Fake Italian Size Names, So When You Order This One, You Must Claim It As 'Tall.'")

There's a reason why the first one's free.

I've already had another one and it really needs to stop at:

Previous Tastings